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“Fabulous!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Boucan by Hotel Chocolat

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Boucan by Hotel Chocolat
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Rabot Estate | P.O. Box 312, Soufriere, St. Lucia   |  
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Ranked #7 of 12 hotels in Soufriere
Arrington, United Kingdom
2 reviews
“Fabulous!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

We celebrated a friend's 50th birthday here along with our two children aged 6 and 7 who delighted in the fact that all of the food in some way is 'laced with chocolate'! We watched in amazement as our youngest smacked her lips in appreciation over the pumpkin soup and the incredible salad with white chocolate dressing. A child who prior to this evening would run screaming from the table at the mere sight of vegetables (okay.. a slight exaggeration perhaps!).

The service was impeccable and could not be faulted. Presentation superb and of the highest standard. The food was delicious.. not the very best that I have sampled but it could not be faulted. My husband found the 'chocolate' in every dish a bit tedious and was very slightly underwhelmed but he isn't a chocolate lover so I don't count his verdict. Anyway.. it was not always evident that chocolate played a role in every course.. cacao beans are actually quite bitter on their own.

Completely recommend the restaurant especially for Valentines, a wedding anniversary or any other romantic or memorable ocassion or simply 'just because'. Fabulous in every way!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Judy B, Head of Guest Relations at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Thanks and glad to hear we have some young converts to real chocolate!
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213 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (71)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Saskatoon, Canada
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

We stayed here for 1 night to cap off a 10 night stay in St. Lucia.

We had an amazing burger and roti for our first lunch, and our other meals were very good but we did not appreciate them as much, as the novelty of chocolate in every dish began to wear off.

The restaurant and pool below it have a great feel, with stunning views of the Pitons. Same with the Luxe Lodge we were in.

The lodge had a wonderful patio with lounge chairs, and a 3-stream shower. The lodge was not completely enclosed, so there was a possibility that nature could come inside. This did not happen to us, but we were fully aware of nature through the night, as the nocturnal birds, crickets, and tree frogs came to life (ear plugs may be a requirement for some). Really a unique experience!

The property provides OK customer service, but there is definitely room for improvement, as one would expect better given the prices charged. The hotel employees helped us with a request for iPod, converter, and extra body wash, but in general did not offer much extra and we at times felt like we were bothering them. Some of the restaurant employees did not seem very happy to be there, and were "going through the motions". The hotel states that their employees are paid a salary, and that tips are not necessary except in the case of exceptional service, which there was little evidence of during our short stay. Maybe this policy needs to be reviewed, to perhaps provide an incentive for employees to show that they care about their guests.

We had a very enjoyable experience, but it could have been even better!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Judy B, Head of Guest Relations at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Thanks for your overall positive review and comments noted. Would like to add that Boucan has a theme of savoury cocoa cuisine, not chocolate (except in the desserts!).
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London
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

Exceptional location, friendly staff, amazing food, well designed rooms and the views were stunning. The altitude meant few bugs, no mosquitos and no need for AC.
Sugar Beach is a free shuttle ride away and the hotel provides scuba gear. We'll be back!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Judy B, Head of Guest Relations at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Wow, thanks!
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Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

My wife and I stayed at Hotel Chocolat for 6 nights in a Luxe Pod in January 2013. We really enjoyed our stay and loved the modern but still classy look of the place. The food was excellent and the chocolate in the dishes were subtle and just perfect. We loved the view from our room, that the room was open to nature and the walk in shower. The rooms are very spacious and the rainforest noises at night were rather relaxing than disturbing. My wife loved the daily cookies and chocolate that were provided complimentary to the room.

We were on the Big Nature package that included a hike up the Grand Piton which was tough but extremely rewarding once you were at the top. We had a lovely guide and a nice packed breakfast which we enjoyed once we had reached the top. The Tree to Bean and Bean to Chocolate tours were a lot of fun as well and it was great to understand the process of chocolate making, we now appreciate chocolate even more. It was a pleasure to see the pride in Cuthbert who led the Tree to Bean tour ( a tour about the estate and being part of Hotel Chocolat), we were impressed about the fairtrade standards and the fact that they don’t use pesticides to grow their cocoa. Chef Ron who led the Bean to Chocolate tour did a magnificent job in explaining everything to us, to answer our questions and to make it a lot of fun. He seemed really happy to be at Hotel Chocolat and we even bumped into him and his wife in Soufriere (the town in the bay below the resort). The Big Nature package also included breakfast, a two course lunch and a three course dinner every day – as said the food was absolutely delicious. From great fresh fish dishes to Steak – everything was just perfect and we had not one dish that we didn’t like – although by the end of the 6 days we were happy to move on – maybe a ‘special dish of the day’ might solve this problem. However, we agree with some of the other reviews that the staff could be trained better, they sometimes look a bit startled when you ask questions and forgot to mention that there are more options at breakfast than were on the menu itself (eg. muffins which are delicious once you discovered that they are on offer ;-). That said, the restaurant staff was friendly and we still enjoyed our experience there – just a little training and it would be perfect. What we really loved was to see how much all the staff enjoyed to be part of Hotel Chocolat and their success story.

Whilst at the resort we also walked around the estate, which we found had about 4 great walks (particularly the old French road) and also round the back of the estate to the Volcano – nice experience.

Some points of criticism is the occasional noise from the nearby main road, the furniture in the rooms could be more comfortable (cushions on the seating furniture was missing!), we were lucky but if you have a noisy neighbour you will hear everything due to the open style architecture – which is a great feature, but maybe the pods would just have to be build further apart… Also, facilities such as a gym etc would be a nice touch in time.

Overall, it is a great place to stay. It’s not five star standards just yet but close enough for us and would recommend it to those who like boutique style resorts.

Room Tip: Luxe pods are the ones to go for - if you can afford it don't settle for anything less. Great vi...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Judy B, Head of Guest Relations at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, responded to this review, February 20, 2013
Lovely thoughtful review, thank you. Glad you had such an enjoyable stay and all comments noted.
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London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2013

I stayed at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat for six nights and can definitely recommend it if you are looking for a beautiful place to relax.

I was in a standard pod and was really impressed with everything from the quality of the bed and linen to the beautiful outdoor shower, REN toiletries, ipod dock with pre-loaded hotel playlists and generally good wifi coverage.

The views are outstanding from the hotel restaurant and pool area and if, like me, you are the type of person who loves to listen to music and soak up the atmosphere, you'll have found your paradise as you look out over the lush landscape to the majestic Piton.

I have to disagree with one of the previous reviewers - I found the service to be of a really excellent standard. Definitely not 'five star stuffy' if that's what you are looking for, but friendly and approachable. A special thank you to Inalee at the pool area for taking care of me as a solo guest - making sure I was enjoying my stay and giving me lots of interesting facts about this beautiful island.

The food was seriously good - don't be deterred by the inclusion of chocolate in the menu, as this doesn't have to mean 'sweet and sickly' - it's used very creatively and everything I tried over the space of my break was of the very highest quality. The breakfasts were fist class, with beautiful fruit platters, fresh smoothies, oatmeal and local honey, omelettes and bacon, not to mention the most delicious home made bread and jelly with chocolate 'smudge'.

I will definitely return to Boucan by Hotel Chocolat. From the moment I was picked up the airport, handed a mint-scented, iced hand towel and a cold drink I knew this was going to be special and it didn't disappoint.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Judy B, Head of Guest Relations at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
'Atmosphere' is what it's all about, we agree wholeheartedly. Thanks for appreciating our service which we try to be natural, intuitive and approachable about (the opposite of robotic and stuffy).
Inalee is delighted about your mention, thanks very much and looking forward to your return visit.
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New York City, New York
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

My wife and I stayed at Boucan in a Luxe Pod in early December 2012. The room was very nice and spacious, featuring wood floors, a huge terrace, very comfortable bed with mosquito net, and large bathroom with enormous walk-in shower and double vanity. The view of the Pitons from the terrace was beautiful, and the open-air nature of the space allowed all the night sounds of frogs and insects to lull us to sleep. Each day, there was a complimentary array of nuts and chocolate. The room had near total visible privacy. I cannot understand why someone would choose one of the standard rooms, as they are obviously smaller, less private, and located in a tight cluster more resembling camp housing rather than resort lodging.

There were several drawbacks to the Luxe Pod rooms that I hope the hotel improves over time. The first is unlikely to change - the rooms are all situated near to the road (perhaps within 400 feet of the main road) and near to the main driveway through the facilities. Power lines are visible from both the rooms and the restaurant, and rather often one can hear noisy vehicles passing by. The furniture on the terrace is mostly useless because it is so uncomfortable. The furniture is all constructed with wood slats out of teak or some other tropical hardwood. There is a large daybed, without any cushions - no one would sit on this because it is basically a platform with wood slats. There are also two chaise lounges of the same construction with pads, but the pads are so thin that it is way too uncomfortable to sit in these chairs for more than 30 minutes or so. This is the only seating in the entire room. There should be large deep cushions on all the furniture, large pillows to sink into, and at least two regular armchairs so that one does not have to recline in order to relax on the terrace. Another frustration was that the wireless internet reliability and speed was poor. We could not download files, browse the web reliably, and the signal was intermittent. A final drawback is that we could hear our neighbors as if they were staying in our room - flushing toilets, running water, conversation. Not at all private, and annoying. We watched a movie one night on our laptop, and were concerned that we were bothering our neighbors - not relaxing - we knew we could hear them, and figured they could hear us. My personal feeling is that the hotel would be better off situating the lodging within a more secluded area of the resort, with security, and featuring rooms that are more spread out. Transportation by golf cart to the restaurant and parking area could be provided.

The resort facilities are basic. The restaurant is very good, but as others have noted, the service staff is ill-trained (better at dinner) and the menu is dominated by chocolate. Also, everything seems to come with this artful swoosh of creamy mashed potatoes on the plate - both expected, and delivered cold every time. We didn't really mind any of this, but the food is not so sensational and the service kindof sucks, so it dilutes the cool factor of having everything made with chocolate, unfortunately. Breakfast is an exceptional value, and is included in the room rate. The swimming pool is beautiful, and there are two separated seating areas in the sun. However, like the rooms, the pool is even closer to the road and there is substantial vehicle noise on a regular basis. The hotel website noted that there was bar service at the pool, and gave the impression that someone was stationed there all the time. There is a bar there, but no one was staffing it. I had to go upstairs to the restaurant to request service, and when I did, I received a comment from the waiter that "he looked down and didn't see anyone who needed anything." That's not really a five-star level of service. He was very attentive after that, but the pool should be constantly visited by service staff so that guests can order what they want when they want it.

Overall, St. Lucia is the best Caribbean destination to which we have traveled. More natural beauty, great snorkeling, and beautiful beaches. However, we were quite disappointed in the public access to the beaches. It seems that the nicer beaches are occupied by resorts, which will not rent their lounge chairs to you. While you can put down your towel anywhere, the only beach chairs available for rent are crammed into small patches at the far end of the beach. I'm writing now specifically of Jalousie Beach at the Viceroy Hotel. The same is true at the Anse Chastenet beach - and a terrible, terrible restaurant to boot. The beach access in both of these locations is very difficult and only accessible by car. One can only access Jalousie Beach by being driven by golf cart down a long steep driveway by that resort's hotel staff, and then driven back up again to your car (or to the shuttle if you took this from Boucan). Tipping is, of course, appreciated. We walked it the first time, but it is just way too far - and once you get there, there is one little section where outsiders can get a chair. It's not nice unless you're staying at the hotel. The other public beaches do not have chairs available for rent, and in fact we have heard that there are security issues. We did not enjoy going to the beach much because they are so difficult to access. Unless you are staying in a beach-front resort, going to the beach is a very discouraging proposition.

We went to Dasheene one evening at Ladera across the street from Boucan, and were unimpressed. Dinner for two was $150, and the food was a 5.5 out of 10 - my wife is a vegetarian, and ordered a $30 vegetarian entree that was essentially deep fried and layered with fat. This restaurant is truly probably one of the best restaurants on St. Lucia, and the service was heads and shoulders better than Boucan, although the food is vastly overrated.

Upon check out at Boucan, the staff was unable to print my statement because they rely on a small ink-jet printer at the desk. They did email it to me with an apologetic message, although the staff really should have a laser printer available to them. I found the entire greeting and front desk experience to be a total amateur hour.

We will probably not go back to St. Lucia given all the other options. We would recommend to others that they visit once, but I strongly advise staying at the Viceroy and not at Boucan. While we did not experience the rooms or the restaurant at the Viceroy, the hotel has a beautiful position on the best beach, and the facilities are recently renovated. The beach chairs looked exceedingly comfortable, and this resort match what my expectations had been for our trip to St. Lucia - unfortunately, we booked Boucan instead. It was a good experience, but left me feeling like we could have maximized our trip by staying at Viceroy.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Judy B, Head of Guest Relations at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, responded to this review, February 4, 2013
I do appreciate your comments. The wifi signal has been boosted and now covers all rooms and public areas and is completely free of charge.
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Tampa, FL
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

After doing a lot of research for something truly special within the Caribbean islands, I chose St. Lucia's Hotel Chocolat for my partner's big birthday celebration (can't mention the number, but it ends in a "0"). Neither of us could have been more pleased. From its unique location on a cacao plantation to its amazing views to the friendly service from the staff, this was exactly the type of "special" experience we were looking for.

We loved how everything was open air. Being from Florida, I know how humidity and/or bugs can sometimes be a nuisance, but that was not the case in St. Lucia. I didn't suffer a single bug bite (even without the mosquito netting), and the tradewinds kept us more than comfortable at night. I personally enjoyed the chorus of bugs, frogs and birds at night, but they're not for everyone, and the hotel provides earplugs for light sleepers.

What can I say about the view that others haven't already? Even though you see it from the pool, the restaurant, and your lodge, we never tired of it, and I have way too many photos of the Petit Piton (including one where we were lucky enough to catch a rainbow in front of it - what does it mean???).

I could go on and on about the cool open-air shower, the tasty deserts, the fresh fruit, and the Lucky Dube playlist, but suffice it to say it was a fantastic experience. It may not be for everyone due to its remote location, open concept, and heavy focus on chocolate (and Lord knows it ain't cheap), but for those looking for something completely different from chain hotels and all-inclusive beach resorts, Hotel Chocolat is a delightful option.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Judy B, Head of Guest Relations at Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, responded to this review, February 13, 2013
Glad you saw the rainbow in front of the Petit Piton, an amazing sight which looks surreal. The big idea for Boucan was to create an architectural framework which let Big Nature take centre stage. Thanks for staying with us for your important event and glad it went well.
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Additional Information about Boucan by Hotel Chocolat

Address: Rabot Estate | P.O. Box 312, Soufriere, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Soufriere Quarter > Soufriere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Soufriere
#5 Luxury Hotel in Soufriere
#6 Family Hotel in Soufriere
#8 Romantic Hotel in Soufriere
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Boucan by Hotel Chocolat 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover plantation chic - luxury, well-being & stunning natural beauty. Situated high in the hills near Soufriere, set in rainforest & cocoa groves with stunning views of the Piton mountains. A daily transfer is provided for guests to a stunning nearby beach by Hotel Sea Launch. Guests can enjoy trail walks around the cocoa estate, cacao inspired treatments in the spa, relaxation in Club Boucan with its private infinity pool & the exclusive cacao cuisine at Boucan Restaurant & Bar, free laundry service, room additions and Tree to Bean tour. Boucan by Hotel Chocolat offer 2 types of accommodation, both with 4 poster beds, preloaded iPods & docking stations, complimentary wireless, a mini-bar & open sky rainforest showers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Boucan By Hotel Chocolat St. Lucia/Soufriere

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